• Home
  • Events
  • Past Events

Past Events

(see Upcoming Events)

Fall 2021:

2021 Franklin D. Murphy Lecturer: Dr. Paul Binski
Making Sense of Medieval Art

Both of Dr. Binski's lectures are available to view on YouTube.com/c/kuarthistory

October 5, 2021
Experiencing Medieval Architecture

Ranging from Early Christian Rome to Romanesque and Gothic France, England and Iberia, this lecture explores the language used of architectural experience in the Middle Ages. It moves forward from the ideas that such language should be understood historically and contextually, that its character is social and ethical as much as transcendental, and that making ‘sense’ of medieval buildings necessarily involves the aesthetic. By showing how buildings were often understood in terms of social and affective categories also used of persons, the lecture will advance a fresh vision of one aspect of medieval architecture as an exemplary medium and a form of elevating ‘great speech’.

November 16, 2021
Figures, Fictions and Motives in Medieval Art

The exemplary character of architecture as a medium connects directly to the second lecture’s exploration of the figurative arts, such as painting and especially sculpture, closely associated with the new monumentality of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. The great sculpted and pictorial displays of medieval Europe served, like their buildings, to exalt and elevate.  But in thinking about their function and purpose, we also need to reflect on their special role as fictions, and how it is that the ethical and religious ends of religion found in the visual arts a means not simply of ‘expressing’ things but of ‘moving’ people internally, or emotionally, and externally in regard to their conduct. How and to what extent persuasive fictions can do this will be a central theme of this more analytically-oriented talk.


Spring 2021:

May 6, 2021
Murphy Lecture: "Chardin, Diderot, and the Muteness of Made Things"
Carol Armstrong, Professor of the History of Art, Yale University


April 27, 2021
Lecture: "Dalí's Dream of Venus: Sex, Surrealism, and Eugenics at the 1939 New York World's Fair"
Keri Watson, Associate Professor of Art History, University of Central Florida, and Director of the Florida Prison Education Project


March 18, 2021
Lecture: "The Fashion and Race Database: Providing a Pedagogical Platform Amidst Fashion’s Racial Reckoning"
Kimberly M. Jenkins, Assistant Professor of Fashion Studies, Ryerson University, Toronto


February 26, 2021
Lecture: "Archive/Agency/Argument: Mobilizing the Knowledge of Colonial India's 'Native' Artists in 'Global' Art Histories"
Dipti Khera, Associate Professor of Art History, NYU


February 18-20, 2021: Graduate Student Symposium "Hindsight Is /" (Symposium Schedule)
Keynote Address: Dr. Anna Arabindan-Kesson, Assistant Professor, African American and Black Diasporic Art, Princeton University
"Seeing Through Empire: Medicalizing Vision, Imagining Space"


February 18, 2021: Franklin Murphy Distinguished Alumni Lecture:
Mark White, Executive Director, New Mexico Museum of Art
"From OK to LA and Back Again"


February 5, 2021: Art History Department Colloquium

Prof. Sherry Fowler, "The Emotional Toll of Wartime Bell Deployment in Japan"

Fall 2020:

October 29, 2020
Lecture: "Unfinished (We Are What's Left Undone): Identity, Performative Racial Scripts & the Necessity of the Anti-Colonial Iconoclast"
M. Carmen Lane, Artist, writer, and Director of the ATNSC: Center for Healing & Creative Leadership

October 14, 2020
Lecture: "Giorgio Morandi and the Matter of Still Life"
Carol Armstrong, Professor of the History of Art, Yale University

September 24, 2020
Lecture: "Okesa / Halfway There"
Norman Akers, Artist & Associate Professor, KU Dept. of Visual Art

Silk Roads Symposium 
Friday, Sept. 11 - Saturday, Sept. 12, 2020

Symposium Program

Inspired by the Eurasian trade routes that flourished from the 2nd century BCE to the mid-15th century, this symposium highlights how artworks, design, trade goods, medicine, religion, and people traveled both overland and by sea and stimulated new cultural forms and ideas. While the term “Silk Road,” which was invented in the 19th century, may conjure an image of camels plodding across the desert on one contiguous road, speakers in this symposium challenge us to instead envision a dynamic pattern of cross-cultural exchanges that occurred between Asia, Africa, and beyond that continues today.

Sponsored by The University of Kansas Center for East Asian Studies & History of Art Department

Spring 2020:

Murphy Lecture Series:

Amanda Burdan
Curator, Brandywine River Museum of Art
March 4, 2020 @5:30 pm
Votes For Women: A Visual History

Fall 2019:

September 12, 2019: Murphy Distinguished Alumni Lecture:
Dr. Claudia Brown, Professor of Art History, School of Art
Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, Arizona State University
"Collecting the Arts of the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911): A Personal View"

Spring 2019:

Amsden Awards Ceremony:
Joey Orr
Andrew W. Mellon Curator for Research, Spencer Museum of Art
May 3, 2019
"Researching Social Objects"

Murphy Lecture Series:
Dr. Julie Nelson Davis
Professor of Art History, University of Pennsylvania
April 18, 2019
"Reconsidering Japanese Prints in The Era of #metoo: A Case Study of Utamaro's Images of the Pleasure Quarters"

Dr. Katherine Baker
Assistant Professor of Art History, Arkansas State University
April 2, 2019
"Respect the Hustle: The Workshop of Chicart Bailly & Strategic Making in the 16th Century"


Fall 2018:





2018 Murphy Distinguished Alumni Lecture:
Dr. Randall Griffey
Curator Modern & Contemporary Art, Metropolitan Museum of Art
November 8, 2018
"The Yellow Brick Road to The Met: Reflections on Kansas, Art History, Then, and Now"

Murphy Lecture Series:
Zhang Hongtu
New York based artist
October 9, 2018
"Zhang Hongtu: In the Spirit of Dunhuang"

2018 KU History of Art Graduate Student Symposium:
"Visualizing Knowledge: Visual Culture and Its Discursive Power"
October 5-6, 2018
Keynote Speaker: Dr. Lisa Cartwright, UCSD

Click here to view or download the complete program

Spring 2018:

Amsden Awards Ceremony:
Dr. Roberta Pokphanh
Assistant Vice Provost for International Programs
Academic Director of AAP, University of Kansas
April 27, 2018
"On Being an Art Historian"

Murphy Lecture Series:
Dr. Lei Xue
Associate Professor, Art History
Oregon State University
March 29, 2018
"Remaking the Calligraphy Model Book in Late Ming China"

2018 Grant K. Goodman Distinguished Lecture in Japanese Studies:
Dr. Timon Screech
Professor, History of Art
SOAS, University of London
March 26, 2018
"What Floated in the 'Floating World' in Early Modern Japanese Art?"


2018 Franklin D. Murphy Lecturer: Dr. Erika Doss

"Blood, Tar, and Sharpies: Memorial Mania and the Materiality of Cultural Vandalism"
Thursday, March 15, 2018 @5:30pm
Spencer Museum of Art Auditorium

"Troubling Memorials: Reckoning with Disgraced Monuments and Problematic Public Art in America"
Sunday, March 11, 2018 @2:00pm
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Atkins Auditorium



Past Franklin D. Murphy Lecturers

2017-2018 Academic Year

Dr. Christine Normore
Associate Professor of Medieval Art
Northewestern University
October 30, 2017
"Siege, Sex and the Soul in Late Medieval Art"

Dr. Patricia Berger
October 20, 2017
Haufler Symposium Keynote Lecture:
"Buddhism's Women: Thoughts in Honor of Marsha Haufler"

Dr. An-Yi Pan
Associate Professor, Department of the History of Art and Visual Studies & Department of Asian Studies
Cornell University
October 19, 2017
Distinguished Alumni Lecture: "Moments: Traversing Prairie, Red Rocks, and Gorges"

Dr. Yukio Lippit
Professor, History of Art & Architecture, Harvard University
Johnson-Kulukundis Family Director of the Arts, Radcliffe Institute
August 28, 2017
"Ashura's Face: Enigma and Expression in Japan's Most Famous Sculpture"

Views From Sunflower Terrace: Celebrations in Honor of Marsha Haufler (October 2017)

2016-2017 Academic Year

Spring 2017 Franklin D. Murphy Lecturer: Dr. Christine Guth
Senior Tutor Emerita, Asian Design History
Royal College of Art and Victoria & Albert Museum
February 4, 2017
"Wit & Wisdom in a Japanese Teabowl"
April 27, 2017
"Gender, Ritual, and Needlework in Early Modern Japan"

Zrinka Stahuljak
Professor of Medieval Studies in French and Comparative Literature
University of California Los Angeles
April 25, 2017
"Medieval Fixers and the Libraries of Burgundy"

Burglind Jungmann
Professor of Korean Art & Visual Culture
University of California Los Angeles
April 14, 2017
"Chaekgeori: Court Culture and Foreign Inspiration in Joseon Painting"

A. Asa Eger
Professor Early & Medieval Mediterranean and Islamic Near East
University of North Carolina, Greensboro
November 14, 2016
"The Islamic-Byzantine Frontier: Interaction & Exchange Among Muslim & Christian Communities"

Scott A. Shields
Associate Director and Chief Curator
Crocker Art Museum
November 3, 2016
Distinguished Alumni Lecture: "Three California Artists (including one you've hear of): Jules Tavernier, Armin Hansen, & Richard Diebenkorn"

2015-2016 Academic Year

Gennifer Weisenfeld
Professor of Art, Art History and Visual Studies
Duke University
April 18, 2016
"Transwar Design: Kamekura Yūsaku from Nippon Kōbō to the Tokyo Olympics"

Carol Armstrong
Professor of History of Art
Yale University
March 24, 2016
"Between Greenberg and Frankenthaler: This Cézanne Which Is Not One"

Erika Doss
Professor of American Studies
University of Notre Dame
November 17, 2015
"Spiritual Moderns: Twentieth-Century American Artists and Religion"

Zaixin Hong
Professor of Art
University of Puget Sound
September 24, 2015
"Word as Image: Chinese Calligraphy in Modern and Contemporary Art"

Ellen Goheen
Former Director of Collections & Special Exhibitions
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
October 1, 2015
Distinguished Alumni Lecture: "From Temples of Art to Venues of Entertainment: The Evolution of the Art Museum"

2014-2015 Academic Year

Bernard O'Kane
Professor of Islamic Art & Architecture
American University in Cairo
April 21, 2015
"The Writing on the Walls: Epigraphy in Medieval Cairo"

Paul Groner
Professor Emeritus, Department of Religious Studies
University of Virginia
November 10, 2014
"Adventures in Japanese Tendai Buddhism: What a Textual Scholar Has Leanerd From Material Culture"

Corine Wegener
Cultural Heritage Preservation Officer
Smithsonian Institution
October 2, 2014
Distinguished Alumni Lecture: "From Berlin to Baghdad: When Art Historians Go To War"

2013-2014 Acadmic Year

Spring 2014 Franklin D. Murphy Lecturer: Cynthia Hahn
Professor of Art History
Hunter College of the City University of New York
January 23, 2014
"Capturing Fragments of the Divine: Relics and Reliquaries of the True Cross"
April 13, 2014
"Capturing Fragments of the Divine: Relics and Power"

Chin-Sung Chang
Associate Professor
Seoul National University
April 28, 2014
"Envisioning an Ideal World: The City of the Great Peace and Visual Politics in Early 19th Century Korea"

Elizabeth Morrison
Senior Curator of Manuscripts
J. Paul Getty Museum
March 10, 2014
"Manuscripts in a Museum Context"

Vernon Hyde Minor
Research Professor, University of Illinois
Professor Emeritus, University of Colorado
October 29, 2013
Distinguished Alumni Lecture: "The Importance of Being Art History"

2012-2013 Academic Year

John T. Carpenter
Curator of Japanese Art
The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Tuesday, April 9
"Hokusai: Painting and Deluxe Prints for Special Clients."

Kevin Carr
Associate Professor of Japanese Art History
University of Michigan
Thursday, March 28
"Who is the Hase Kannon? Reflections on Sacred Identities in Medieval Japanese Art"

Michael R. Grauer
Associate Director for Curatorial Affairs/Curator of Art
Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum
Wednesday, October 24
"My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys and Indians, and Other Horror Stories of an Unorthodox Historian of Art (and other stuff)"

 Sharon Gregory
Associate Professor of Art History
St. Francis Xavier University
Monday, October 22
"Out from Under the Tuscan Sun: Vasari, Salviati and Michelangelo in Venice"

William E. Wallace
Barbara Murphy Bryant Distinguished Professor of Art History
Washington University, St. Louis
Thursday, November 8
"Problems in Michelangelo's Sculpture… Many"

Laura Weigert
Associate Professor of Art History
Rutgers University
Tuesday, March 12
"The Devil's Stage: Hubert Cailleau's Illuminated Manuscripts and the Illusion of a Medieval Theater"

2011-2012 Academic Year

Michael Brenson
Bard College "Anatomy of a Sculptural Masterpiece: David Smith's Australia (1951)"
Spencer Museum of Art
Thursday, April 19, 2012.  5:30 PM
"David Smith and the Challenges of Biography"
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Sunday, April 22, 2012. 2:30 PM

2009-2010 Academic Year

Christopher M.S. Johns
Norman & Roselea Goldberg Professor of Art History Vanderbilt University
"China and the Church: Chinoiserie and the Roman Connection"
Thursday, April 15, 5:30 pm
Spencer Museum of Art Auditorium "The Art and Visual Culture of European Chinoiserie"
Sunday, April 18, 2:30 pm
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

Toshio Watanabe
The Director of the Research Centre for Transnational Art, Identity and Nation, University of the Arts, London
"Modernity and Censorship: Nude Painting Controversy in Meiji Japan (1868-1912)"
Thursday, April 1 at 5:30 pm
Spencer Museum of Art Auditorium
"Modern Japanese Gardens in a Transnational Context"
Thursday, April 8 at 6:00 pm
Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art



Give ButtonAlumni SpotlightsDepartment NewsletterShare Your News

Subscribe on YouTube:

Follow us on Facebook:
Follow us on Instagram:

Apply for the
Eglinski Study Abroad Prize

Countdown to
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
5th nationwide for service to veterans —"Best for Vets: Colleges," Military Times
KU Today